Cancer Research UK has described new statistics on waiting times for cancer treatment in Scotland as "disappointing".
The charity's comments follow the publication of the latest Cancer Waiting Times statistics, which show Scotland has still not met targets that should have been met at the end of 2005.
However, figures vary greatly across the country, with some health boards performing significantly better than others.
Director of cancer information at Cancer Research UK, Dr Lesley Walker, said that waiting to begin cancer treatment was "very distressing" for patients and their families.
"If patients have to wait too long before receiving treatment, this can result in a less successful outcome," Dr Walker pointed out.
However, the expert added: "While it's disappointing that the overall target in Scotland hasn't yet been reached it is encouraging that improvements are being made."
Independent advice on private healthcare